|Publication number||US7029278 B2|
|Application number||US 10/667,164|
|Publication date||Apr 18, 2006|
|Filing date||Sep 17, 2003|
|Priority date||Sep 17, 2002|
|Also published as||US20040106083|
|Publication number||10667164, 667164, US 7029278 B2, US 7029278B2, US-B2-7029278, US7029278 B2, US7029278B2|
|Inventors||Gary J. Pond|
|Original Assignee||Pond Gary J|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (8), Classifications (10), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application claims the benefit of co-pending provisional patent application Serial No. 60/411,297, filed 17 Sep. 2002.
The present invention relates generally to a dental handpiece, and more specifically to a dental handpiece adapted to apply dental material to a patient's tooth or teeth and having removable sections.
Dental handpieces for dispensing dental material are well known in the art. For example Charlton (U.S. Pat. No. 6,083,000) and Lewis (U.S. Pat. No. 3,389,3468) are designed to distribute dental material in a controlled fashion. Generally, a predetermined amount of dental material is stored in a reservoir within the handpiece and a longitudinally moving plunger pushes a plug into the reservoir, dispensing the dental material in a controlled fashion. The dental material may be loaded directly within the reservoir or contained within a capsule that is placed within the reservoir.
Although dental handpieces and disposable capsules have become a convenient way to dispense a controlled amount of dental material into a patient's mouth, the handpieces do not necessarily provide the most sterile environment. Though capsules of dental material can be measured for a single patient use, there still may be residue dental material in the handpiece itself after use. Especially when a corkscrew style plunger is used, the handpiece may not be sufficiently cleaned or sterilized between consecutive patients. The dental material is not easily washed out of the devices, and one cannot be certain that the material has been completely removed.
For the foregoing reasons, there is a need for a device that will allow a dentist, hygienist, or a dental assistant to dispense a controlled amount of dental material into a patient's mouth in a manner that is efficient and hygienic.
The present invention alleviates the above problem by disclosing a dental handpiece that is easily kept clean and sterile. The handpiece is designed generally to dispense prophy paste or similar material in a safe, sanitary manner.
The handpiece comprises a detachable shield that fits securely onto the body of the handpiece. The shield contains a conduit passing through the shield. At one end the conduit is in fluid communication with a reservoir of dental material, and the opposing end of the conduit is in fluid communication with the area where the dental material will be dispensed. Once the shield has been used, it may be removed and discarded, or autoclaved if preferred. The disposable shield helps ensure that residual dental material will not pass from one application to the next.
Along with the shield, the reservoir for the dental material contributes to the sanitary nature of the invention. The reservoir is adapted to receive a cartridge of dental material having opposing ends. One end of the capsule is in fluid communication with a conduit located in the shield, while the opposite end is in communication with a plunger. The plunger pushes the dental material through the reservoir so that the dental material may enter the conduit located in the shield. Because of the design of the reservoir, plunger, and the cartridge, the dental material has minimal contact with the walls of the reservoir, and the cartridge may be discarded after being used, thereby contributing to the overall sanitary features of the handpiece. Likewise, the design prevents dental material from coming in contact with any of the mechanical parts of the handpiece.
The plunger pushes the dental material through the conduit in the shield, allowing the material to exit at an area where a tooth is to be polished by a rotating polishing device, such as a prophy cup.
The plunger can be operated manually, but is preferably driven by a drive mechanism located within the body of the handpiece. The plunger has a semi-helical design, which meshes with a gear or cog connected to the drive mechanism. The drive mechanism also drives the polishing device or other attachment located on the end of the handpiece. A reversible direction trigger controls the drive mechanism, allowing easy control of the handpiece. The drive mechanism is enclosed within the body of the handpiece and does not come into contact with the dental material.
The overall design allows for an efficient dental handpiece with improved sanitary operating conditions. Dental material will generally be completely removed after each application, and the mechanical features of the device will not come into contact with the dental material.
These and other advantages will become more evident in the following description.
Although the disclosure hereof is detailed and exact to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, the physical embodiments herein disclosed merely exemplify the invention that may be embodied in other specific structures. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention, which is defined by the claims.
Still referring to
Essentially a drive mechanism 38 drives the cog 44. The drive mechanism 38 consists of a main drive shaft 40, a motor 41, a main drive gear 42, a secondary drive shaft 46, and a secondary drive gear 47. The drive mechanism 38 receives power through the adaptor 30, which can be joined to any suitable power source. Ideally, the device is driven with air as a power source, but any suitable power source is allowable.
The motor 41 turns the main drive gear 42. The teeth of the main drive gear 42 mesh with the teeth of the secondary drive gear 47. The main drive gear 42 will turn, thereby rotating the secondary drive gear 47, causing the secondary drive shaft 46 to rotate, as well. The secondary drive shaft 46 turns the cog 44, thereby moving the plunger 16, as stated above.
The main drive shaft 40 is connected to the polishing means 28. As the motor 41 turns the main drive gear 42, the main drive shaft 40 is also turned, thereby spinning the polishing means 28. In a preferred embodiment, the polishing means 28 is a prophy cup. The handpiece 9 is designed so that the polishing means 28 and the plunger 16 are rotated or moved concurrently, thereby allowing the user to manipulate a single control to polish a patient's tooth.
When the polishing is finished, the trigger 26 can be moved in the opposite direction towards the front portion 11 of the handpiece 9, as shown in
While the drive mechanism 38 is described to control both the polishing means 28 and the plunger 16, it is foreseeable that they could be operated by separate controls. Also, if desired, the plunger 16 could be operated manually rather than by a motor, and the movement of the plunger 16 could also control the polishing means 28 without use of a motor.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Furthermore, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. While the preferred embodiment has been described, the details may be changed without departing from the invention, which is defined by the claims.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3389468||Dec 23, 1964||Jun 25, 1968||Bernard F. Mcnickle||Disposable pre-charged dental handpiece|
|US3775849 *||Mar 20, 1972||Dec 4, 1973||Condon J||Dental handpiece attachment|
|US3826004 *||Apr 17, 1972||Jul 30, 1974||Graceffo J||Dental prophylaxis instrument|
|US4220446 *||Nov 29, 1978||Sep 2, 1980||Walker Donald H||Attachable tooth cleaning agent dispenser for dental handpieces|
|US5642994 *||Jun 26, 1995||Jul 1, 1997||Propheze, Inc.||Teeth cleaning implement with integrated fluid dispenser|
|US5779708||Aug 15, 1996||Jul 14, 1998||Cyberdent, Inc.||Intraosseous drug delivery device and method|
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|US6083000||Apr 30, 1998||Jul 4, 2000||Charlton; Daniel J.||Dental handpiece attachment and method of making the same|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7510396 *||Nov 21, 2006||Mar 31, 2009||Lee Kwang S||Disposable dental prophylaxis apparatus capable of discharging predetermined amount of dentifrice material therefrom|
|US7806689||Dec 23, 2008||Oct 5, 2010||Lee Kwang S||Disposable dental prophylaxis instrument capable of discharging dentifrice material|
|US8591231 *||Jan 20, 2012||Nov 26, 2013||Edwin W. Wolske||Air/gas driven prophylaxis preparation dispensing system for a dental hand piece|
|US20050032021 *||Sep 3, 2004||Feb 10, 2005||Sirona Dental Systems Gmbh||Dental hand instrument|
|US20080070188 *||Nov 21, 2006||Mar 20, 2008||Lee Kwang S||Disposable dental prophylaxis apparatus capable of discharging predetermined amount of dentifrice material therefrom|
|US20100159416 *||Dec 23, 2008||Jun 24, 2010||Lee Kwang S||Disposable dental prophylaxis instrument capable of discharging dentifrice material|
|USD674487 *||Sep 30, 2011||Jan 15, 2013||Dentsply International Inc.||Dental device connection adapter|
|USD687552 *||Sep 30, 2011||Aug 6, 2013||Dentsply International Inc.||Dental device connection adapter|
|U.S. Classification||433/125, 433/82|
|International Classification||A61C1/12, A61C17/00, A61C1/08, A61C3/06|
|Cooperative Classification||A61C17/005, A61C1/087|
|European Classification||A61C1/08G, A61C17/00P|
|Oct 12, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Jul 24, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: INTER-MED, INC., WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:POND, GARY J.;REEL/FRAME:028626/0085
Effective date: 20120724
|Sep 12, 2012||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SECURANT BANK & TRUST, WISCONSIN
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:INTER-MED, INC.;REEL/FRAME:028942/0436
Effective date: 20090302
|Oct 11, 2013||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8
|Oct 13, 2015||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: INTER-MED INC., WISCONSIN
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:SECURANT BANK & TRUST;REEL/FRAME:036784/0610
Effective date: 20120912